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Last Minute & Quick Wedding Planning Tips

long wedding reception table garland

Are you looking to plan your wedding in a hurry, as in get married in under 6 to 12 months? You're in the right place, because I have some great and unexpected wedding planning tips directly from the wedding professionals about how to plan your wedding with a short turnaround, super fast. Today, we're going from engaged to married in just a few months or weeks, if you choose!

Most of the wedding planning advice and sample planning timelines and schedules that you see out there are for how to plan your wedding with a long lead time, like a year or more. After all, it does take lots of time to secure all of your vendors, find a venue, pick a wedding date, order your wedding dress and so much more. 

However, last minute and fast weddings with a short planning timeframe are on trend right now as more and more couples are opting to skip the long planning and extended engagements and go right for the party! The wedding party, that is!

long floral wedding reception table garland centerpiece

 

You see, with Covid-19 and the shutdowns, many engaged couples may have already waited long enough to get married. They’re tired of waiting to celebrate and just want to get married with their friends and family present already! 

Now that things are starting to open back up again after the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more engaged couples want to get married and celebrate with their friends and family that they haven't seen in months. And, in today's wedding planning advice post, I’m going to share with you how to make it all happen with some last minute wedding tips and advice with you.

5 LAST MINUTE WEDDING PLANNING TIPS

These are my best tips from the wedding planning experts on how to plan a wedding with a  quick planning timeline. These are the insider wedding planning tips that no one else will tell you!

BE OK WITH A NON WEEKEND 

If you’re planning a wedding with a short timeframe, be prepared to consider a mid-week wedding date. Most of the weekend dates, such as Saturday and Sunday will be booked already by the long term planning weddings that locked their date months and months ago, if not a year or more ahead. Fridays might also be booked with rehearsals, and preparations for the next day’s wedding. 

With the pandemic, came many postponed and rescheduled weddings. Thus, more and more couples got used to the idea of a wedding not on a weekend as many dates were booked. It was really common in 2020 and 2021 to have a wedding on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. Most of the weekend dates were already booked and as couples tried to re-schedule, they were finding more availability and better prices with mid-week weddings. 

Weddings with a short planning timeframe, will find more available dates during the week, such as a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday wedding. (Mondays can be a tough, but not impossible, day to get married as many wedding vendors who work over the weekend take Mondays off.) 

In addition to available wedding dates and venues, you’ll also have more available wedding vendors during the week. Your vendors such a florist, planner, DJ and photographer won’t be as booked during the weekday. 

LET YOUR VENDORS GUIDE YOU

When you’re planning a wedding with a short timeframe, this is where the professionals can really help you out. Trust your wedding vendors to guide you through the process. They’ve done this a million times and will show you the way to make a last minute wedding happen flawlessly. 

Start with a wedding planner and rely on them to guide you through the rest of your last minute wedding planning. A wedding planner will know the right vendors, such as rentals, lighting, florist, photographer and more, to work with and they will know exactly what is possible during your timeframe. 

I can’t say in enough, with a wedding on a short time frame, you will want to tap into the expertise of you wedding vendor team and let them make magic for you!

OPT FOR COCKTAIL STYLE RECEPTION

If you’re planning a wedding with a short timeframe, consider a cocktail party style wedding reception instead of a seated and plated dinner style wedding reception. A cocktail style reception is just less of everything, less to decide on, less to organize, less to plan and less to deal with, which is important when you don’t have a lot of time to plan your wedding.

 

long wedding reception table garland centerpiece

With a cocktail style wedding reception, you can have passed and buffet style food options as well as open seating with smaller tables. Buffet style meals mean that you don’t have meal selections, so you won’t have to track down your guests to find out their meal selection. Open style seating means that you won’t have to assign seats and do table numbers and escort cards for your wedding guests, which all take time to organize and plan. Smaller tables also have less flowers and table decor to pull together. 

Another benefit to a cocktail style wedding reception is you can typically invite more wedding guests because you don’t have assigned seats and you’ll have an open floor plan with less tables. Less tables mean more space, and more space means more guests!

ORDER YOUR WEDDING BANDS ASAP

If you’re planning a wedding on a shorter time frame, you’ll need to put getting your wedding bands at the top of the to-do list. (I’m talking about wedding bands as in the rings that you and your fiance wear around your fingers after you get married, not the wedding bands as in those super fun people who play music at your reception! Although the music kind of a wedding band is super important too!!!) 

Many wedding bands (or rings) can take up to six months or more to order and arrive. If you want wear your wedding band on your wedding day or shortly thereafter, make sure that you order your wedding bands ASAP after you get engaged. 

BUY OFF THE RACK

When it comes to your wedding dress and your wedding invitations and anything else many engaged couples would and could customize, consider buying off the rack with a short turn around wedding. Buying off the rack refers to buying pre-made or semi-custom items instead of opting for ultra personalized items that often-times take a while to design and order. 

When it comes to a wedding dress, you could need six to eight months to order your wedding dress and have it made for you (Most wedding dress shops carry ‘samples’ of the wedding dress that you try on and then you’ll order your wedding dress and it will be made just for you. Check out this post on how and when to order your wedding dress) But, with a last minute wedding, it isn’t possible to wait months for your dream wedding dress to arrive. 

lush bridal bouquet

 

Consider finding and buying a wedding dress that you can walk out of the store with, such as a sample sale dress from a bridal boutique, or a designer dress that isn’t a typical wedding dress from a department store or a small boutique that you love. Remember, your best wedding day attire option is any dress or outfit that makes you feel amazing, no matter if it is technically “bridal” or not.  

The same is true for wedding details like your wedding invitations. There are many places online, like Minted, that offer gorgeous semi-custom wedding invitation suites. You can go online and find an invitation style that you like with all of the matching day-of the wedding elements like signs and thank you notes. You change around your information and you’re done! Just be sure to check the production time when placing your order.

Another thing that it great for last minute weddings are printable. Check out this post that we did on what are wedding printables - these little things that you can print at home will really save you tons of time! 

You can also work with your local vendors to buy “off the rack” when it comes to other wedding details like flowers. Ask your wedding florist what flowers are in season and what would work at your wedding. Trust your florist to design you amazing wedding flowers and let them have the freedom to design for you. It’s less work for you, which is important when you don’t have much time!

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So, what do you think? Are you ready to get married with a short planning timeline? I hope that you loved my tips for how to plan a last minute wedding. If you need more, check out these other posts....

Don't forget that we have lots of helpful and practical wedding planning tips and advice here on the blog. And if you have any questions about a wedding garter, we've got your covered with our wedding garter 101 series.

Remember, you can shop for bluevintageclassic and modern garter heirlooms anytime in my garter shop or get in touch with me at info@thegartergirl.com for information on custom designing a garter just for you!


☀️ Happy Summer ☀️